Cincinnati Again Earns Perfect Score on Human Rights Campaign's LGBTQ Municipal Equality Index

The index measures cities based on their non-discrimination laws, employment practices, inclusion when it comes to city services and programs, community engagement and other issues.

click to enlarge The City of Cincinnati flew a pride flag this year during Pride Week. - Nick Swartsell
Nick Swartsell
The City of Cincinnati flew a pride flag this year during Pride Week.

The City of Cincinnati has again achieved a perfect score when it comes to LGBTQ rights, a national group says.

The city has again scored 100 on Human Rights Campaign's eighth-annual Municipal Equality Index. 

The index measures cities based on their non-discrimination laws, employment practices, inclusion when it comes to city services and programs, community engagement and response to potential hate crimes by law enforcement and leadership by the city on equality for members of the LGBTQ community.

Cincinnati scored 96 out of 100 in those categories, but also received 14 bonus points for providing domestic partner benefits, ordinances against conversion therapy, single-occupancy, non-gendered facilities and other measures. (So actually the city overachieved in the scoring.)

The city has made big strides on LGBTQ issues, though there is more to be done, some elected officials and advocacy groups say. In 1993, voters approved an amendment to the city charter, Article XII, that barred anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBTQ individuals. That amendment, one of the most restrictive in the country, was reversed in 2004. 

Since then, the city has grown increasingly LGBTQ friendly. Voters elected Cincinnati's first openly-gay city council member, Chris Seelbach, in 2011. A Cincinnati resident, Jim Obergefell, was the lead plaintiff in the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage across the country. And local government and employers have adopted a raft of LGBTQ-friendly policies, including domestic partner benefits. 

The Queen City has scored 100 on the index every year since 2014. Other major Ohio cities, including Cleveland, Columbus and Akron, also received a perfect score.

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